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Classic: Nassim N. Taleb and His Rules for Life. Who will break the status quo?

Classic:  Nassim N. Taleb and His Rules for Life.  Who will break the status quo? | Agile Learning | Scoop.it

"The controversial thinker who predicted the 2008 financial crisis hates bankers, academics and journalists. Carole Cadwalladr took the risk of meeting him."
 

"The controversial thinker who predicted the 2008 financial crisis hates bankers, academics and journalists. Carole Cadwalladr took the risk of meeting him."

    

In The Black Swan he argued that modernity is too complex to understand, and "Black Swan" events – hitherto unknown and unpredicted shocks – will always occur.
    
What's more, because of the complexity of the system, if one bank went down, they all would. The book sold 3m copies.  

        

Antifragile, the follow-up, is his most important work so far, he says. It takes the central idea of The Black Swan and expands it to encompass almost every other aspect of life, from the 19th century rise of the nation state to what to eat for breakfast (fresh air, as a general rule).

 I'd been expecting a popular science-style read, a Freakonomics or a Nudge. And then I realised it's actually a philosophical treatise.

     

"Exactly!" says Taleb. Once you get over the idea that you're reading some sort of popular economics book and realise that it's basically Nassim Taleb's Rules for Life, ...it's actually .....something like a chivalric code d'honneur for the 21st century. Modern life is akin to a chronic stress injury, he says. And the way to combat it is to embrace randomness in all its forms: live true to your principles, don't sell your soul and watch out for the carbohydrates.

       

Some of the gems of this journalistic piece:
      
"Experience is devoid of the cherry-picking that we find in studies."
     
 "You have to pull back and let the system destroy itself, and then come back. That's Seneca's recommendation. He's the one who says that the sage should let the republic destroy itself."

Size, in Taleb's view, matters. Bigger means more complex, means more prone to failure. Or, as he puts it, "fragile". It's what made – still makes – the banking system so vulnerable.
    
 In The Black Swan, one of Taleb's great examples of "non-linearity", or Black Swan behaviour, was blockbusters. There's no predicting what will be the next breakout success, or next year's 50 Shades of Grey, but when they take off, they fly off the charts, as The Black Swan did. The book itself was a Black Swan phenomenon. As Taleb is fond of pointing out – and as the small print beneath advertisements for mutual funds states – past performance is no indicator of future growth.

      

When the financial journalist Michael Lewis profiled a collection of individuals who, like Taleb, saw the crash coming and shorted the market, he described them as "social misfits". It takes a certain sort of personality to stand apart from the herd. And Taleb's cantankerousness, his propensity for picking fights, and for taking stands does also seem to be the source of his greatest triumphs. It was horrible, though, he says.
      

"Really horrible. Between 2004 and 2008 were the worst years of my life. Everybody thought I was an idiot. And I knew that. But at the same time I couldn't change my mind to fit in. So you have this dilemma: my behaviour isn't impacted by what people think of me, but I have the pain of it.
     

You must have felt incredibly vindicated?
      

"Vindication doesn't pay back. Nobody likes you because you were right. This is why I'm glad I made the shekels."
     

…Taleb is a fighter. And like the Roman generals, he believes in going into battle, leading from the front.
      

If you're going to make the case for war, you need to have at least one direct descendant who stands to lose his life from the decision.

      

….he gives good lunch. And he does something which no interviewee in the history of interviews has ever done – he pays. Whatever else he does or doesn't do, Nassim Taleb puts his money where his mouth is. He has skin in the game.

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

I discovered this gem recently.  Carole Cadwalladr does an excellent job of capturing the essence of the irascible Taleb, with a well written touch of poignancy.  I've become a fan of his ideas because of my own beliefs in the power of groups, teams and communities, and because we are due for many more "Black Swan" events due to the fragile nature of connected businesses.   

Technology is both a blessing and not.  I hope  there will be alternative forms of finance that will arise to solve the problems we've experienced since 2008, as well as what will continue to be a jobless recovery.  More about that soon.  ~  Deb 

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MOOCs Revolutionize Corporate Learning and Development

MOOCs Revolutionize Corporate Learning and Development | Agile Learning | Scoop.it

McAfee turned its training around that both saved both time and produced more lucrative sales: ...an average of $500,000 per year in sales [attributed to] new training model.


Before Intel giant McAfee revamped its new-hire orientation, ...80 hours long [with] ... 40 hours of pre-work,, 5 days of on-site training, and ...post-...to be completed at home.


To fix its problem, McAfee turned to ....Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs...called “flipping the classroom” [where]...a majority of learning happens ...by giving students access to course materials and having them probe, discuss, and debate issues with fellow learners as well as the professor.


_________________________

Companies ...have to trust the learner ...incorporating more opportunities for peer reviews and peer-to-peer dialogues...

_________________________


...Can your company re-imagine the role of the learner? ...the learner takes on a role more expansive than ever before, acting as teacher, learner, and peer reviewer.


Companies ...have to trust the learner to do this,  by incorporating more opportunities for peer reviews and peer-to-peer dialogues into the course.


With that change, McAfee turned its training around in a way that both saved both time and produced more lucrative sales: its sales associates now attribute an average of $500,000 per year in sales to the skills they learned through the new training model. 


Three MOOC elements are particularly well-suited to corporate learning & development:  Semi-synchronicity  (cohorts ...[can] motivate each other as they go through the program),  course design (flipping the classroom), and credentials

    In a recent Future Workplace survey, completed by 195 corporate learning and HR professionals, 70 percent of respondents said they saw opportunities to integrate MOOCs into their own company’s learning programs. Even further, this sample of respondents made six recommendations for how MOOC providers could adapt to needs of corporations:


    Related posts by Deb:


       
       


    Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

    This well-done piece by Jeanne Meister, highlights key elements of how MOOCs can turn around the stultifying aspects of corporate learning, well-illustrated through the McAfee example. 

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    Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s curator insight, August 21, 2013 12:49 PM

    Semi-synchronicity  (cohorts ...[can] motivate each other as they go through the program),  course design (flipping the classroom), and credentials.

    IanHelps's curator insight, August 26, 2013 9:19 AM

    MOOCs might be just what the corporate L&D world needs to reinvent itself. McAfee appears to be at the leading edge of this change

    Laura Eickert's curator insight, March 11, 2015 4:19 AM

    @Faustine

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    MOOCs and Blended Learning take the Stage with Charlie Rose - Online Education

    MOOCs and Blended Learning take the Stage with Charlie Rose - Online Education | Agile Learning | Scoop.it

    "I will say the blended model, ...with certainty, is revolutionizing, higher education." "...access to a Master Teacher..."  ~ Amy Gutmann, president of the University of Pennsylvania


    Charlie interviews:

    • Anant Agarwal, CEO of edX;
    • Amy Gutmann, president of the University of Pennsylvania;
    • Joel Klein, former New York City Schools chancellor and CEO of Amplify and
    • Tom Friedman of the New York 


    Related posts by Deb:

      
    Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

    Pacing the learning, removing the exclusive, high expense of the classic 4 year degree, access to "Master Teachers," are some the the advantages.

    An alternative view of higher education was forecast by a guest blogger on my own website who built his own degree at a much lower cost, listed above, "Right Sizing..."   ~ Deb

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    Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, April 26, 2013 2:28 PM

    A blend of views discuss MOOCs and on-line education.  Note the access and pacing comments of Anant Agarwal from edX and what he's implying.  ~  Deb

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    On-demand Personalized Learning, Strategic and Agile

    On-demand Personalized Learning, Strategic and Agile | Agile Learning | Scoop.it

    Training content is moving beyond large courses, to semantically rich nuggets of information. Developers have created a whole host of specialized, next-generation performance-support apps that deliver personalized, bite-sized learning to employees at the moment-of-need on the device of their choice. But getting there is not easy.

    by Dawn  Poulos : Learning Solutions Magazine


    Related posts by Deb:


    Choices for High Performance Teams, Groups and Psuedo-Teams: Achievement Is How You Say It!

        

    Messing up a Change Implementation with Someone Else’s Learning Culture?

       

    Agile Leader Learning for Sustainable Change: Steps through Sharp Rocks

    Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

    Useful perspective on customized, personalized learning > trend watch useful.  ~  Deb

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    "We help each other be expert." Social Media to learn, teach, research – Full Video

    Difficult polymath problem?  "...The discussion would go until they solved the problem.   ...We are all experts...  We help each other be expert."

    Autonomy, privacy, platforms, research, complexity, sharing incuding solving a complex math problem - solving problems collaboratively.


    Video of the Cristina Costa session, Social Media for learning, teaching and researching at the University of Liverpool on 9th February 2012 - full video.


    From the Univ. of Liverpool describing this session:


    • Cristina is the Learning and Research Technologies Manager at the University of Salford and was named the Learning Technologist of the year in 2010 (Association for Learning Technology). the seminar was for teachers-researchers who have heard of social media but do not have a great deal of experience with it.
       
    • Cristina challenged the approach to using the web ‘as a book’ – just as a place to go and ‘look things up’. 
       
    • She encouraged us to view the web as a place to set up challenges and inquiries for students, to use its social personal(ised) potential and overall to use the web to create.  To contribute not just to consume.  
       
    • The session was really well received, full of ideas and links to new practical choices.  


    Related posts by Deb:  



         




    Via MonVall, juandoming
    Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

    Cristina Costa covers many themes including the problems with using Facebook and what tools work better, and complex polymath problem solving through collaboration.  ~  D

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    A Whopping 47% is Peer Group: 7 compelling arguments for Peer Learning

    A Whopping 47% is Peer Group:  7 compelling arguments for Peer Learning | Agile Learning | Scoop.it

    Peer learning is on the rise!

     

    1. Powerful theoretical underpinning
    Ref:  Judith Harris’s wonderful The Nurture Assumption, for which she received the George Miller Medal in psychology. 

     

    In a deep look at the data she found something surprising: that 50% was genetic, just a few per cent parents and a whopping 47% peer group.

     

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    2. Massively scalable
    Peer learning may actually be better with large classes


    3. Learning by teaching is probably the most powerful way to learn
    Peer learning involves high-order, deep-processing activity.  The teacher may actually gain more than the learner.


    4. Encourages critical thinking

    5. Group bonding a side effect

    6. Dramatic drops in drop-out rates

    7. Higher attainment

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